The historic city of Granada is located a few kilometers inland from the southern coastline of Spain. It is cradled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. If there is one city you want to pick to explore the culture, history, as well as the modern lifestyle of Spain, then Granada is the place to be. Hundreds of years of history reflected through some stunning medieval architecture, along with modern tourism infrastructure and facilities, make Granada a place of choice for travelers of all ages and interests. Inviting weather for most part of the year is an added bonus. Here is a look at 10 of the top-rated tourist attractions of Granada.
The Gypsy Quarter of Sacromonte is one of the unique neighborhoods of Granada. A short walk along the Cuesta Chapiz will take you to Sacromonte. The statue of Chorrojumo, the king of the Gypsies with his peculiar hat, welcomes visitors to this neighborhood. From there take the Camino del Sacromonte to explore the area. You will come across many cave dwellings that jut out from the slope of the hill through the cacti and bushes. You can visit the Sacromonte Cave Museum if you want an insight of the neighborhood and its history. The 17th century Sacromonte Abbey is a popular attraction of the district.
- Hammam Al Andalus
The Moorish rulers brought the traditional Arab Baths ritual all the way to Spain. Although those baths are no longer in existence, the closest you can to get to that experience is by visiting the Hammam Al Andalus on Calle Santa Ana. This Arab bath was set up on the ruins of a former Arab bath after major restorations. It is basically a modern spa which has reconstructed the authentic ambiance of the original baths. Take a dip in any of its 3 pools having hot, warm, and cold water. Finish off your pampering with a special exfoliating massage
- Hospital Real
Hospital Real is a former hospital located on Calle Ancha de Capuchinos in the northern part of Granada. This huge red-brick rectangular building was commissioned by Isabel and Ferdinand, who were known as the Catholic Monarchs. It was originally used to treat the soldiers and poor people who were injured in the Reconquista of Granada. Presently, the building is a part of the university. It is situated on elevated ground thus offering great views of the surroundings. Hospital Real deserves a visit because of its intricate Moorish styles architecture.
- Capilla Real
The Capilla Real, or the Royal Chapel of Granada, is a historic building that houses the royal tombs, the most significant of those being of the Catholic Monarchs, their daughter and their son-in-law. The building was built in an Isabelline Gothic style of architecture with beautifully decorated arches, gateways and railings. It is located right next to the Granada Cathedral. The Capilla Real dates back to 1517 and is dedicated to St John the Evangelist and St John the Baptist.
- Arab Spice Market
La Alcaiceria, or the Arab Spice Market, is one of the most colorful neighborhoods in the city of Granada. However, the original spice market that was set up during the Moorish rule was destroyed in a fire in 1843. The recreated souk, or market, has more souvenir and crafts stalls. It is one of the best places if you are hunting for souvenirs or gifts to take back home. Alcaiceria starts from the Plaza Alonso Cano and runs along the Calle de la Alcaiceria.
- Carmen de los Martires
Located very close to the Alhambra is this beautifully landscaped garden that dates back to the 19th century. Although it is predominantly laid out with Moorish-styled decorations, there is a strong influence of English- and French-styled elements. Grottoes, statues, fountains, and well laid-out walkways complete the décor of this garden. Add to this the sweeping views that you can have of the city and Alhambra from its terrace.
- Granada Cathedral
The Granada Cathedral is one of the most impressive medieval buildings in the city of Granada. It is a Roman Catholic church that dates back to 1561. It was built in a fusion of Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. The cathedral can be easily recognized by its huge façade of three triumphal arches. The inside of the cathedral is dominated by huge Corinthian columns and a vault adorned with colored stained glass windows.
- Cartuja Monastery
The Cartuja Monastery is located about 25 minutes from the Granada city center. You can reach the site by walking northward from the Plaza del Triunfo. The monastery was set up by the Carthusian order that was founded in 11th century in neighboring France. The modest exterior of the monastery is in sharp contrast to the stunningly opulent interior. In fact, the monastery is considered to be one of the finest examples of Baroque Spanish architecture. Gilded carvings, marble statues, and elaborate paintings adorn the interior.
Albayzin, or Albaicin, is an old Arab town that is located just north of the Alhambra. The town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Alhambra. Take a stroll along the narrow winding streets of this old town to get a feeling of the medieval Arab town. Most parts of this town have been able to retain the charm of its days of glory. The neighborhood used to be protected by a defensive wall, parts of which can still be seen. A number of historic churches, temples, and monuments area attractions that you will come across when exploring the streets of Albayzin.
The Alhambra is a majestic fortress and the most prominent attraction for tourists visiting Granada. The snow capped Sierra Nevada Mountains provides the perfect backdrop to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The present structure dates back to the 13th century and is credited to the Moorish rulers. Over the years, Alhambra has featured in many works of literature and popular cinema. There are several palaces and buildings within the fortress complex and you should put away the better part of the day to explore this attraction.
Originally posted 2017-06-06 08:12:31.